One Golf Digest+ member who reluctantly moved up a tee box during a recent round was 84-year-old Curt McClure (above, second from the right), who typically plays from 6,000 yards but appeased his buddies and joined them at 5,200 yards at his home course of Lubbock Country Club in Texas. The move sparked a special round for McClure, a 2-handicap who made his third career hole-in-one en route to a three-under-par 69—a score 15 shots below his age.

“I said it was cheating because I was playing so far up,” says McClure, who averages about 230 yards off the tee, meaning a 5,200-yard course is a comparable distance to what Rory McIlroy plays from on tour, relative to driving distance. “It was just a normal day,” McClure says. “I just made some birdies and made a hole-in-one, and I made a couple of bogeys on the back nine.”

It would be tough to find a member with more humility and nonchalance than McClure, who has been a Golf Digest+ member since the 1980s. He hit a knockdown 8-iron from about 130 yards on the par-3 fifth hole. “I didn’t even hit the shot like I wanted to,” McClure says. “I pushed it a little bit, and it hit the edge of the green, bounced left and rolled into the hole.”

(Editor’s Note: This story is part of the new Golf Digest Community section, where we engage with Golf Digest+ members. We encourage all members to submit swing videos, great stories, questions or feedback on recent stories at [email protected] for a chance to be included in a future edition.)

A semifinalist in the 1995 U.S. Senior Amateur, McClure finished off the excellent round by breaking 70, his lowest score in recent memory. He first shot below his age when he was 68, but in the years since, the feat has happened too many times to keep track of. Since he moved to Texas five years ago, he hasn’t shot above 80 at Lubbock.

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McClure picked up the game as a kid in Louisiana but quit when he got married, had four children and started working as an insurance agent. When he returned to golf in his late 30s, he took lessons from Shreveport instructor Martin Stuart, with whom he continues to work and credits much of his success to.

By virtue of his run in the U.S. Senior Amateur, McClure played in the 1996 U.S. Senior Open, where he warmed up between Arnold Palmer and Chi Chi Rodriguez. “I was amazed at the sound of their shots versus the sound of mine,” he recalls. Though it remains one of his fondest golf memories, he regrets not introducing himself.

Even if McClure doesn’t quite compress it like Arnie, McClure’s longtime friend and four-ball partner Corky Yates calls him “Pipeline” for how straight he drives the ball. Away from the course, he enjoys tweaking his clubs at home. “I’ve got a lot of equipment in the garage, and I just enjoy fiddling with things,” he says. “I recently changed my shafts to KBS and reworked them all. The frequencies are almost perfect.”

The new shafts are quickly making a difference, as McClure had no issue following up his low round with another. “The next time I played, I shot 71, and on the fifth hole, the pin was cut in almost the same place, and I hit it to six inches,” he says. “Now that would have been a good story.”

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